A highlight of this year’s Knysna Motor Show on May 3, 2020, will be the increasing number of vintage, veteran and classic motorcycles on display in the special tent reserved for the two-wheeler fraternity and sponsored by Elf Lubricants and Diesel Electric.
The motorcycles will join some 300 classic and vintage cars on the Knysna High School Sports field on the first Sunday in May, which also forms part of a long weekend. Once again the Knysna show has Sanlam Private Wealth as its headline sponsor, and this will be the ninth running of this annual event.
The passion is almost tangible
Two-wheeled machines ranging in age from the early 1900s to the 1980s have been assembled from all over South Africa. And once again the underlying theme of the display will be the passion that the bikers display for their classic steeds.
If you happen to engage one of the motorcyclists in conversation about their machines, be prepared to set aside plenty of time to learn about such biker-specific details as “steering head angles”, “swing- arm flex” and the vagaries of magneto sparking systems that could well be over 100 years old. More than any other group of enthusiasts, owners of classic motorcyclists are willing to share their passion with anyone who takes time out to examine these wonderful pieces of engineering.
The motorcycle section has its own “Best of Show” category where the public will vote for the best motorcycle on display. The trophy and prize will be sponsored by the Motorcycle Room from Knysna.
One arch two-wheeled enthusiast is Mac McKenzie from Drummond in KZN, who will be displaying two very special and rare examples of British racing motorcycle craft from the early 1970s. He will be travelling to Knsyna with a 1970 racing Triumph Trident known as “Slippery Sam” and an equally rare competition Triumph Bonneville RGB 850.
1970 Triumph Trident and 1975 Triumph Bonneville RGB: The triple-cylinder Triumph Trident is an exact copy of the original “Slippery Sam” racer that won a string of Isle of Man TT races in the 1970s. What’s more, it was assembled by McKenzie who worked for Slippery Sam’s creator, LP Lewis, in the UK as a South African youngster abroad in the 1970s.
The Triumph Bonneville RGB is equally special and this British classic was built up by Richard Gary Bryan in New Zealand. McKenzie paid cash for the bike and had to wait two years for its delivery to South Africa! Based on a Bonneville T140, It features a special 850 cc motor, a five-speed gearbox and a special frame. The motor has been radically altered and features a unique 180 degree crankshaft.
1964 BMW R60 and 1958 Velocette MSS: Lofty Pretorius from Sedgefield has been a mainstay exhibitor at the Knysna Motor Show and this year will be no different. Pretorius has a number of machines to choose from in his collection and this year he has picked out two classic street machines.
The 1964 BMW R60 is a German boxer-twin cylinder design made famous by BMW which still does duty on some of its machinery today. Pretorius bought this machine from a “retired traffic cop” in Muldersdrift a few years ago. The traffic officer had bought the machine upon on his retirement from the Roodepoort Traffic Department and Pretorius has lovingly restored it to its original black finish with white pin-striping. He says it is so reliable he would have no hesitation in hopping aboard and riding it up to Jo’burg from his home base in Sedgefield.
The 1958 Velocette is a 500 cc single cylinder machine built in England. It is a low-production, very high-quality motorcycle and many famous British motorcycle racers cut their teeth on a Velocette Venom of the this era. Pretorius’s machine has a Venom high performance kit, and says his machine has just undergone some refurbishment. Pretorius adds that famous Velocette racing mechanic Geoff Lacey will be at the 2020 Knysna Motor Show on May 3.
1916 BSA Model K. This machine is owned by arch Johannesburg vintage motorcyclist Steve Helm, who will be part of a strong Vintage Motorcycle Club contingent travelling down to Knysna for this year’s Motor Show. This BSA, now over 100 years old, is significant in that 1916 was the first year that the BSA switched from belt drive to chain drive, and it also features a three-speed gearbox.
Helm says these old motorcycles are very complicated to ride. The 557cc BSA features a hand-operated lever gear change, and the accelerator is also hand-lever operated. In addition, these old bikes have ignition-timing retard and advance that also has to be operated by hand. To get the old BSA mobile it has to be started on the stand. The clutch is a foot clutch, but Helm says the best way to get mobile is to paddle with your feet and then select first gear.
1911 Precision: This machine will be the oldest motorcycle on the show. It is on loan from the Johannesburg Vintage Motorcycle Club and will be taken to the show by Bevan Beckman. The Precision is an interesting machine, as the company only made engines and supplied these to different frame manufactures. The bulk of these engines were shipped to Australia, and this one, shipped to South Africa, features a Premier frame. It’s a 600 cc single cylinder machine and has direct drive to the rear wheel, with no gearbox. These older machines also need to be oiled by the rider on the move, and excess oil drips out onto the road!
1947 Harley Davidson: Bevan Beckman is also bringing a classic Harley Davidson to the show. This large-capacity V-twin machine, still featuring a hand-lever gear change, was produced just after the war. A number of Harley Davidsons of this era were used by the South African and Rhodesian armies and many of them later found their way into private ownership.
1969 Norton Commando: This is a 750 cc machine and was one of the fastest bikes of the late 1960s. It featured a rubber-mounted engine and the famous “Fastback” styling with a rear tailpiece in fibreglass. It belongs to Martin Kaiser, a member of the Vintage Motorcycle Club in Johannesburg which is bringing eight motorcycles to the Knysna Motor Show.
1960 Royal Enfield Constellation and 1980 BMW R100 Café Racer: Another VMC member who is travelling from Johannesburg to Knysna will be Barnie Barnard. Barnie is displaying yet another famous British marque in the form of a 1960 Royal Enfield Constellation, and is also bringing his unusual BMW R100 Café Racer.
1972 BSA Rocket 3 and 1962 Manx Norton: These are two more machines travelling from KZN for the Knysna Motor Show and are owned by Tommy Schoeman. This particular BSA has a replica of a rare Rob North racing frame and this bike was bought in the UK, having been built by Les Whiston. The Rocket 3 has a similar 750 cc triple engine to the Triumph Trident, but the engine cylinders have more of a forward-leaning location. This is a racing machine with twin disc brakes up front.
The Manx Norton is a 1962 model. This machine was built by the Mackintosh company in New Zealand from the last blanks obtained from the factory in the early 1960s. The Manx Norton is a 500 cc single-cylinder machine. It features an overhead cam design, and the camshaft uses a bevel drive from the crankshaft. Nortons won many Isle of Man TTS and many famous racers cut their teeth on them. Mike Hailwood and Jim Redman, world champions of the 1960s, started out on Manx Nortons. Tommy Schoeman’s machine is finished in classic silver just like the original machines. A Manx Norton was recently ridden at the Goodwood Festival by MotoGP star Dani Pedrosa. Schoeman’s machine actually competed in a recent Isle of Man Classic TT.
1959 Velocette Venom and 1989 Ducati 400: These machines will be coming to the show courtesy of Knysna’s Bill Annetts. This Velocette is a factory-built Venom model with many special Thruxton racing internals, but Bill has fitted less radical handlebars to the machine to enable a more upright riding position. His other machine that he is readying for the show is a rare 400 cc Ducati. This is styled in similar fashion to the famous Italian 750 and 900 SS machines, but its smaller engine was built for certain markets where there was a capacity limit for less-experienced riders. Bill has configured the bike with custom detailing including a white colour scheme. He may also bring his well-known Norton 750 Atlas racer to the show.
1980 Ducati Pantah 500 SL TT and 1969 Triumph Bonneville T120R: Neville Fisher of East London will once again be bringing two specialised historic racing machines to the show. His Ducati Pantah TT Replica was almost completed for last year’s show but since then it has competed successfully in a number of races. Neville has completely reconfigured the frame on this bike with a different steering angle, changed the motor location and fitted different brakes and swing arm. The weight of the machine has been reduced by some 27 kg! He says that the changes have reduced his lap times at the Eats London Grand Prix circuit by some seven seconds.
His 1969 FRP Triumph Bonneville presents an amazing story. Neville bought this 1969 T120R model in 1972 and has owned and raced it ever since! The bike features a highly-developed Bonneville motor with 11;1 compression and 32 mm Amal rubber-mounted carburettors and runs 17-inch wheels. It is more than capable of seeing off much more modern Japanese racing machinery, as Neville has proved on many occasions!
And many more bikes…In addition to the machines mentioned, there will be many more classic, vintage and veteran machines on show including a 50 cc Maserati, a Garelli 50 cc, an MV Augusta, Yamaha RD350s, and a Fiorelli, which is a sports 49 cc motorcycle built in Italy in the 1950s.
Over 300 cars are expected.
The Garden Route Motor Club, organisers of the Knysna Motor Show, are expecting close to 300 classic, vintage and veteran cars to be on the Knsyna High sports field on May 3. Highlights will be a special display of 40 Austin Healeys from the 1950s and 1960s. Other highlights will include a tribute to the Mercedes-Benz Pagoda, which was Mercedes’ signature sports car from 1963 until 1971, badged as 230, 250 and 280 SL models. And Alfa Romeo will again be well-represented, as this Italian marque is celebrating its 110th anniversary.
There will also be a number of modern supercars such as Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis, vintage and veteran cars, American cars from the 1950s and many more exciting sports car displays.
Cars and motorcycles only by special invitation.
The Garden Route Motor Club is again limiting the number of vehicles to 400, to retain the exceptionally high standard of machinery that has now become this show’s hallmark.
“The cars and motorcycles on show will again be there by special invitation only,” says chief organiser Peter Pretorius of the Garden Route Motor Club. “We aim to ensure that the cars on display measure up to a certain standard in terms of presentation and rarity. This also enables us to plan the display areas in advance, as we know exactly what will be arriving on the day.”
Ideal day out for the whole family, at affordable prices
Attendance of the Knysna Motor Show has grown to surpass 5 000 spectators in recent years. The 2020 show is a one-day event held at the Knysna High School Sports Grounds on 3 May 2020 from 9am to 4pm.
Admission prices for spectators are R60 for adults and R20 for children aged 12 – 18 years. Children under R12 enter free of charge. Food and drink stalls will be plentiful, and best-of-show awards will be announced from noon onwards.
Local charities will benefit
The Garden Route Motor Club has in the past raised more than R600 000 for charity through the Knysna Motor Show. This year’s beneficiaries will include Hospice, Animal Welfare, FAMSA, E-pap (a feeding scheme for needy children) and a number of smaller charities.
Should you be looking for accommodation, special rates have been negotiated with the following hotels:
Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa
http://pezulahotel.com/specials/knysnamotorshow2020/ – Click on the link for the details & rates
Protea Knysna Quays Hotel
Contact: Ilze Stadler
firstname.lastname@example.org or 044 382 5005
The Turbine Boutique Hotel
Contact: Candice Zeelie
email@example.com or 044 302 5746